Five Skills Needed for Independence in the 21st Century

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I see educators focusing on 21st century skills so their students can make it in the real world. Just as prevalent are twenty- and thirty-somethings still living with their parents, unable to make ends meet.

The systemic challenges we millennials face in adulthood are real and widely covered. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find purpose and change our communities for good. Take Pete Buttigieg, a 37-year-old Afghanistan war veteran and two-term mayor of South Bend, Ind., who continues gaining traction in the 2020 presidential race. “I think when you run at this age, your face is your message in a lot of ways,” Buttigieg told CNN. “And part of what we are looking at is the idea that it’s time for a new generation in American leadership.”

While he may on the right track, clearer guideposts after school ends would help others take a road to success.

Being steeped in the education field, I see the way paved by five skills: learning, communication, care, relationship building, and self-advocacy. Some call these soft skills, but in my experience, they are the hardest to master.

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